I’m doing a daily review of each Chicago Blackhawks player and giving out grades based on performance during the 2013-14 season thus far. Today, we examine Andrew Shaw.
Playing almost exclusively on Chicago’s third line, Shaw’s stat line of 14 goals and 12 assists is an emphatic positive. The physical play that the Blackhawks expect from him has been there all season, as he is right at the top in the hitting category.
Shaw’s relative corsi is fourth among all Blackhawks forwards, which is incredible for a third-line player on the same team as Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane. He has also been a significant net positive as far as penalties are concerned, taking 0.9 per 60 minutes while drawing 1.7. The +0.8 differential is the second best on Chicago’s roster.
Continuing to detail Shaw’s beneficial impact, he has developed into a nice net-front presence on the power play. In previous years, Shaw was never particularly useful screening the goalie or getting tips on point shots. It is incredibly apparent that he put some serious work in over the summer on these skills, as he is now clearly Chicago’s best option to slot in front of the net with the extra man.
Finishing things off, Shaw’s versatility has been an important asset. While he has spent the majority of the year on the third line, he has also been more than adequate in spot duty in the top six playing alongside Kane. With the second line center position still in flux, Shaw may very well be tried there once again.
Final Verdict: A
Shaw has done everything asked of him, but hasn’t been quite so exceptional as to merit an A+.